In Madhya Pradesh, Migrant Worker Goes Into Labour, Gives Birth In SUV

Nayali Bai, 26, a resident of Barwani's Sustikheda village, was waiting to be screened by Madhya Pradesh health workers when she felt the onset of labour pains

In Madhya Pradesh, Migrant Worker Goes Into Labour, Gives Birth In SUV

Coronavirus: Pregnant migrant labourer delivered her child in a government car

Barwani, Madhya Pradesh:

In dramatic scenes in Madhya Pradesh's Barwani district on Thursday, a pregnant migrant worker undergoing coronavirus screening on her return from Gujarat delivered her child - a son - in a vehicle belonging to a sub-divisional magistrate, moments after it drove past hospital gates.

Nayali Bai, 26, a resident of Barwani's Sustikheda village, was waiting in line to be screened by Madhya Pradesh government health workers for the COVID-19 virus after returning from Gujarat, where she worked as a daily wage labourer, when she felt the onset of labour pains.

The team of doctors and nurses conducting the screening stepped into assist and initially tried to deliver the child inside the bus on which Nayali Bai and other migrants had been brought back.

That was when Anshu Javla, the SDM in-charge of the screening operations, stepped in; Ms Javla offered the use of her official vehicle and directed that Nayali Bai be rushed to the nearest hospital.

Nayali Bai gave birth to her child inside the vehicle - an SUV - minutes after it entered the grounds of a district women's hospital, Dr Kishore Mukati, who oversaw the delivery, said.

"We had gone to screen labourers who had returned from Gujarat. There we were told of a woman in labour. After examining her, we decided to deliver the child in the bus; it was an emergency. Five minutes later, the SDM gave her car and told us to take the woman to hospital," Dr Mukati said.

Both the mother and the child are safe and healthy, the doctor added.

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Madhya Pradesh is among the states most badly hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak; it has reported 4,426 cases and 237 deaths, so far. Barwani district has 26 confirmed cases.

The district was the scene of violence on Thursday as thousands of migrants went on the warpath after alleging the Madhya Pradesh government made no arrangements for either food or transportation.

There was another protest earlier this month - around a thousand people blocked the Agra-Mumbai highway to agitate against the sealing of the district.

Barwani, which borders neighbouring state Maharashtra, is used by migrant workers from there returning to Uttar Pradesh. The sealing has left thousands stuck at a check-post in Bisjan city.

Migrants left jobless and homeless by the nationwide lockdown have been stranded as a result of the accompanying shut down in public services, forcing tens of thousands to walk home.

Under pressure, the government has organised special trains to return them to their home states, but many thousands continue to try and walk home.